Everything Happens for a Reason?

The Rev said on another thread that everything happens for a reason. My born-again friend Glenda believes that, but so does my atheist friend Ed!

I don't agree. I think some things happen for a reason, and some things just happen. "Everything happens for a reason" just seems to infringe on the concept of free will.

Anybody agree/disagree?

Interesting bro.

The people that say there IS free will mistake the map for the territory. They also mistake biological impulses for "conscious decisions". Tsk Tsk.

Saying all things happen for a reason can help people deal with life. I don't agree that everything has a "reason", but if it makes you feel good...it's cool with me.


That was a interesting analogy Comedian, I liked that.

But if people say everything happens for a reason strictly as a way of dealing with life, then they aren't really dealing with life, right? Aren't they just deceiving themselves so they don't have to deal with it?

That's pretty close to how I feel about it.... definitely interested in hearing more views....

"I don't see how you can possibly believe in free will and everything happening for a reason at the same."imo it depends if the reason behind what happens isa) a living beings choice. Or..b) a materialistic "cause"If its "a" I think you can combine it, if it´s "b" I agree you can´t.

Luke 12:6-7
"Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."

There are many numbered hairs missing.

Luke 12:23-28
"For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?

If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!"

Sometimes I think things happen for a reason. Usually when they turn out good for me. I can never bring myself to say this someone who is suffering though. If someone had a family member killed in a natural diaster I feel this would sound so hollow. I know I wouldn't want to hear it.

I know growth can come from pain and suffering, but sometimes the hurt is too much, and too meaningless to apply this idea.

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

A few quick points:

1. Free will is a useful illusion, but we don't have free will.

2. Everything that happens is contingent on what happened before.

- -"It's like chess. Technically, chess is just one huge decision tree. You can map out every movement, every possible game ever played, on that map. But even though the outcome is preordained (either white win or black wins), there are many possible paths to those two outcome. The people that say there's no free will, mistake the existence of the map for the freedom to choose the path on the map." - -

It's a disingenuous analogy. "Either black or white wins" is not pre-ordainment - such a choice means the end is not pre-ordained. Further, it's a misleading idea of how chess games resolve: The "win" or "Checkmate" - the end result - may occur in many different ways. Describing the chess result spectrum as "either black or white wins" is like saying "either white people or black people will be chosen to be with God." It completely glosses over the spectrum of results in the outcome, and therefore does not usefully illuminate any of the constraints of a plan.

You could make the chess analogy more intriguing by being more specific: What does the "board" or "rules" or "map" relate to in life? In other words, which parts of our existance are pre-ordained, which parts not? If you can't do that we are left none the wiser.

Even if you could answer the above, you are still left with the problem of Pre-ordainment/Omniscience and Free Will. They cannot co-exist. Either God knows our choices or he does not. If he doesn't, divine map or not, he's left biting his nails hoping everything works out ok. In which case he's certainly not Omniscient. If he does know our choices we do not have the Free Will you'd like to wish we have.


Either that or there is some stuff that Prof's brillant human mind(as brilliant as it is) can't understand that God can =)

everything does happens for a reason - nothing happens in isolation

however when a reason presents the happening, it is not always a single option - it is more often a choice

you still have an input

"Either that or there is some stuff that Prof's brillant human mind(as brilliant as it is) can't understand that God can =)"

That's fine :-) As long as someone *is* brilliant enough to resolve the Pre-ordained/Free Will problem, and present the solution in a way that makes sense. Then the Christian argument might advance beyond mere assertion.

If the solution to this problem resides in a realm too mysterious for our comprehension, so bet it. In that case, however, Christians still have no grounds on which to proclaim Free Will and God's Omniscience are compatable.

Prof. (Ever the cheeky heathen).

My opinion is along the lines of what Scrapper has said.

I think it's a FANTASTIC device for understanding the chaos or at least putting some order into it. Whether it's logical or not, doesn't matter. It has a function.

Actually, Comedian's answer is false. It is not possible to map out human decisions and interactions. The suggestion that it is possible is misleading.

Our decision making is unknowable...even with an infinitely powerful computer, and initial conditions mapped to maximum precision.

We are still left with quantum uncertainty, and chaos theory...and when these two join, the chess analogy falls apart.

Destiny is, quite literally, impossible.

Not even God knows the future, because he instilled the mathematics and physics that keep the iron curtain descended over the Great Play's ending.

lol...prof beat me to it, but from a philosophical angle.

That's ok...physics precedes philosophy ;)

"...for a reason"

This idea needs exploration.

What is meant by, "for a reason"? The trash truck arrives at my house on Friday morning "for a reason"...to take my trash and fulfill our contract.

I go to work "for a reason"...to make money and produce quality products.

Now...taking this thinking to animals...do honeybees go after nectar for a reason? Is it to return the nectar to the hive, or to pollinate flowers?

Now is where the logical problems occur. "Since I established the trash collector cycle, clearly SOMEONE ESTABLISHED THE BEE'S/FLOWER ECOSYSTEM". That conclusion, though tempting, is completely unfounded. At no point has any of us seen a fairy come down with her want and *DOINK* hit a bush, from which a flower emerges and to which bees fly...then *DOINK* touch the bee's feet to make them susceptable to carrying pollen.

Experience shows a co-evolutionary process, not divine intervention. This being said, divine intervention is not precluded...it's just unwarranted. Occam's Razor tells us to choose co-evolutionary process.

So...do all things happen for a reason? I'd say that things happen, and the world adapts...and along the way, we can assimilate the experiences with a narrative. That's all. Everything is in a process of coping with everything else.

Rastus is correct and should send me an email.


I have something for you. ;)